January 29th isNational Puzzle Day. Solving puzzles helps you develop your problem-solving skills because puzzles use both the left and right sides of your brain. Besides improving problem-solving and critical thinking skills, solving puzzles with others is a great way to develop your communication and collaboration skills.
You may want to include a variety of puzzle types in your teaching and learning because trying new types of puzzles develop new neural pathways. Include word searches, crosswords, physical puzzles, Wordle, brainteasers, and Sudoku. On thenational calendar website, you can find information about puzzles that no one has been able to solve, like the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Depending upon the interests of your students you may want to include information on the anatomy of our brains and discuss the kinds of problems they face in their day-to-day lives.
I am sure you have books that would align to the topic of puzzles but a few I would recommend include:
For 6-9 year olds: CDB! By William Steig
For 8-12 year olds: Oholine and the yellow cat by Chris Riddell
For 12-14 year olds: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Have fun celebrating National Puzzle Day and remember to take pictures to share on social media.
About the author: Dr. Cindy Moss is a nationally respected thought leader in STEM education and reform. Dr. Moss brings over 31 years of experience in district leadership, classroom instruction and inquiry-based learning to her work as a champion for STEM engagement and career & workforce readiness. Learn more about Dr. Moss here and follow her on Twitter at @STEMboss
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